While other ladies her age are enjoying knitting and relaxing at home with their grandkids or hanging out with other old folks, Ernestine Shepherd wakes up at 3AM every day so she could jog for about 18km and hit the gym to do her workout routines!
You see, Ernestine is not your ordinary grandma – she’s a champ! In 2010, she was named by Guinness World Record as the oldest competitive female bodybuilder; although this record was broken the following year by someone who’s a year older than she is, Ernestine remains a champ and has regained the record in 2016 and 2017.
She did not quit. She continued to break her personal records and win in various bodybuilding competitions. With 2 bodybuilding titles and dozens of wins to her name, it really is amazing to know that this grandma turns 81 this month!
But did you know that this inspiring lady wasn’t always a bodybuilder?
Born in June 1936, Ernestine grew up to be a beautiful young lady and became a model in Baltimore for many years. But as she grew older, her body changed.
At age 56, while trying out swimsuits with her sister Mildred Blackwell, they both realized they were out of shape. They first tried aerobics but later shifted to bodybuilding. Ernestine continued the hobby even after Mildred’s death in 1992 from brain aneurysm.
Today, the 81-year-old Ernestine sticks to her rigid regimen of running and doing a calorie-strict diet of 1,700 calories per day, often comprised of vegetables, chicken, and a liquid egg white drink. She also runs 130 per week!
While Ernestine’s lifestyle is something that many of us find difficult to follow, it works for this iron-pumping grandma. Considering she started at 56, it’s really not too late for us to become like her!